Bloomington’s first cannabis dispensary is now open

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Bloomington now has its first adult cannabis dispensary. The new Beyond / Hello store on Veterans Parkway near the intersection of GE Road opened its doors to customers Tuesday morning.

This is the fourth Illinois retail location for Florida-based Jushi Holdings Inc., a multi-tier cannabis operator. The company operates 16 pharmacies across the country.

Bryan Lloyd, vice president of retail at Jushi, said the Bloomington store will complement demand at the Beyond / Hello location in Normal, which opened last May. This pharmacy was previously owned by The Green Solution, which only served medical cannabis patients.

Since it was opened to leisure customers, lines have wrapped around the building at times.

“We’re a very data-driven organization and what we’re seeing here in the local community is the demand for cannabis,” said Lloyd. “Yes, (it’s a) small community, but also a big community, if you talk about the needs and wants of the community, the universities in the area, and the local businesses – State Farm which is down the road.”

Jushi holds both cannabis licenses currently being approved by state regulators in the McLean County area. Lloyd said that was a huge benefit.

“With limited licenses in the region, we can only capitalize on the market and truly be the brand for the local community,” he said. “We are very excited about the opportunity to operate in a limited market in this area here and feel very good about the direction and future of our organization.”

The Illinois adult cannabis program kicked off in early 2020. Lloyd said the first year is about making sure there are enough products to care for medical patients while keeping recreational customers happy.

“Making sure that on a weekend when your adult traffic is the heaviest, or during the week or early morning when your medical client walks in, only makes sure we have the right equipment on hand,” he said. “We always want to make sure we have the right product and never lose a customer because we don’t have the product on our shelf.”

According to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, which oversees pharmacy licensing, cannabis sales exceeded $ 1 billion for the first year. More than $ 669 million was used on adults, while medical devices accounted for about $ 331 million.

The City of Bloomington levies 3% sales tax on adult cannabis sales.

Beyond / Hello Bloomington is located at 118 Keaton Place in the old Slim Chickens building. The normal pharmacy is at 501 Northtown Road. Both are open to adult customers over the age of 21 as well as medical patients. However, a company spokesperson notes that medical patients who shop at the Bloomington site must pay the city’s adult tax.

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